Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

59 Craft Breweries Tell EPA Dirty Water Proposal Threatens Key Ingredient 'on Which Our Livelihoods Depend'

Popular
The New Belgium Brewing Company is one of the 59 craft breweries that sent a letter the EPA. Jacob Biba / The Washington Post / Getty Images

By Becky Hammer

Thursday a group of 59 craft breweries sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opposing the agencies' "Dirty Water Rule" proposal to slash clean water protections for waterways around the country.


These brewers, who are partners in NRDC's Brewers for Clean Water campaign, are standing up for safeguards that protect the sources of clean water on which their businesses depend.

Here's what they said ...

Pexels

Mr. Andrew Wheeler, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency

Mr. R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works, U.S. Department of the Army

Dear Administrator Wheeler and Assistant Secretary James:

We oppose your proposal to substantially limit the number of waterways receiving protection under the Clean Water Act. This rule would endanger critical wetlands and streams across the country — waterways that our craft breweries depend on to provide the clean water we use to brew our beer.

Beer is mostly water, so the quality of our source water significantly affects our finished product. Compounds present in brewing water can affect pH, color, aroma, and taste. Sulfates make hops taste astringent, while chlorine can create a medicinal off-flavor. The presence of bacteria can spoil a batch of beer. Even small chemical disruptions in our water supply can influence factors like shelf life and foam pattern.

Unexpected changes in water quality — due to pollution in our source water, or a change in the treatment process at our local drinking water plant — can threaten our brewing process and our bottom line. We need reliable sources of clean water to consistently produce the great beer that is key to our success. It is thanks in part to this important natural resource that the craft brewing industry contributes about $76.2 billion to the U.S. economy each year, along with more than 500,000 jobs.

For years, craft brewers have been asking for more clean water protections, not fewer. We supported the 2015 Clean Water Rule because it helped protect the sources of drinking water for 117 million Americans from pollution and destruction, providing certainty that we would continue to have access to the clean water on which our livelihoods depend. Importantly, that rule was based on sound science. The record showed that the waters it protected had biological, chemical, and physical connections to larger downstream waterways.

This proposed rule, to the contrary, ignores the overwhelming scientific evidence that protecting small streams and wetlands is essential to ensuring the quality of America's water sources. It would prohibit applying federal pollution-control safeguards to rain-dependent streams and exclude wetlands that do not have a surface connection to other protected waters. It also invites polluters to ask for even greater rollbacks, such as eliminating protections for seasonally-flowing streams.

We strongly oppose these proposed changes, which would affect millions of miles of streams and most of the nation's wetlands. Science shows that protecting these waters is important to downstream water quality. We must maintain clear protections for the vulnerable waterways that provide our most important ingredient.

We are depending on you not to roll back the safeguards established under the Clean Water Act. Protecting clean water is central to our long-term business success. Moreover, it is vital to the health and the economy of the communities where we live and work.

Thank you for considering our views on this important matter.

Sincerely,

Allagash Brewing Company (Maine)

Alliance Brewing Company (Tennessee)

Andersonville Brewing (Illinois)

Asheville Brewing Company (North Carolina)

Avery Brewing Company (Colorado)

Bang Brewing (Minnesota)

Blue Point Brewing Company (New York)

Brewery Techne (Pennsylvania)

Brewery Vivant (Michigan)

Brooklyn Brewery (New York)

Bull City Burger and Brewery (North Carolina)

Clinch River Brewing (Tennessee)

Corridor Brewery & Provisions (Illinois)

Cypress and Grove Brewing Company (Florida)

DryHop Brewers (Illinois)

Earth Bread + Brewery (Pennsylvania)

Engrained Brewery & Restaurant (Illinois)

Fiddlin' Fish Brewing Company (North Carolina)

Flossmoor Station Brewing Company (Illinois)

Forest City Brewery (Ohio)

Founders Brewing Company (Michigan)

Fremont Brewing (Washington)

Grand Rapids Brewing Company (Michigan)

Great Lakes Brewing Company (Ohio)

Greenstar Organic Brewing (Illinois)

Half Acre Beer (Illinois)

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company (California)

HopCat (Michigan)

Horse & Dragon Brewing Company (Colorado)

Lakefront Brewery (Wisconsin)

Land-Grant Brewing Company (Ohio)

Lost Rhino Brewing Company (Virginia)

Maine Beer Company (Maine)

Maui Brewing Company (Hawaii)

Naked River Brewing Company (Tennessee)

New Belgium Brewing (Colorado)

Odell Brewing Company (Colorado)

Old Bust Head Brewing Company (Virginia)

One World Brewing (North Carolina)

Revolution Brewing (Illinois)

Right Brain Brewery (Michigan)

Rising Tide Brewing Company (Maine)

Rolling Meadows Farm Brewery (Illinois)

Sailfish Brewing Company (Florida)

Saltwater Brewery (Florida)

Sanctuary Brewing Company (North Carolina)

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (California)

Sleepy Dog Brewery (Arizona)

Smartmouth Brewing Company (Virginia)

Starr Hill Brewery (Virginia)

SweetWater Brewing Company (Georgia)

Temperance Beer Co. (Illinois)

Two Brothers Brewing Company (Illinois)

Upslope Brewing Company (Colorado)

Wild Onion Brewery (Illinois)

Wild Wolf Brewing Company (Virginia)

Wolf Hills Brewing Company (Virginia)

Wrightsville Beach Brewery (North Carolina)


EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A sand tiger shark swims over the USS Tarpon in Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. Tane Casserley / NOAA

By John R. Platt

Here at The Revelator, we love a good shark story.

The problem is, there aren't all that many good shark stories. According to recent research, sharks and their relatives represent one of the world's most imperiled groups of species. Of the more than 1,250 known species of sharks, skates, rays and chimeras — collectively known as chondrichthyan fishes — at least a quarter are threatened with extinction.

Read More Show Less
The Anderson Community Group. Left to right, Caroline Laur, Anita Foust, the Rev. Bryon Shoffner, and Bill Compton, came together to fight for environmental justice in their community. Anderson Community Group

By Isabella Garcia

On Thanksgiving Day 2019, right after Caroline Laur had finished giving thanks for her home, a neighbor at church told her that a company had submitted permit requests to build an asphalt plant in their community. The plans indicated the plant would be 250 feet from Laur's backdoor.

Read More Show Less
Berber woman cooks traditional flatbread using an earthen oven in her mud-walled village home located near the historic village of Ait Benhaddou in Morocco, Africa on Jan. 4, 2016. Creative Touch Imaging Ltd. /NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Danielle Nierenberg and Jason Flatt

The world's Indigenous Peoples face severe and disproportionate rates of food insecurity. While Indigenous Peoples comprise 5 percent of the world's population, they account for 15 percent of the world's poor, according to the World Health Organization.

Read More Show Less
Danny Choo / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Olivia Sullivan

One of the many unfortunate outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic has been the quick and obvious increase in single-use plastic products. After COVID-19 arrived in the United States, many grocery stores prohibited customers from using reusable bags, coffee shops banned reusable mugs, and takeout food with plastic forks and knives became the new normal.

Read More Show Less
A mostly empty 110 freeway toward downtown Los Angeles, California on April 28, 2020. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The shelter in place orders that brought clean skies to some of the world's most polluted cities and saw greenhouse gas emissions plummet were just a temporary relief that provided an illusory benefit to the long-term consequences of the climate crisis. According to new research, the COVID-19 lockdowns will have a "neglible" impact on global warming, as Newshub in New Zealand reported.

Read More Show Less
Centrosaurus apertus was a plant-eating, single-horned dinosaur that lived 76 to 77 million years ago. Sergey Krasovskiy / Stocktrek Images / Getty Images

Scientists have discovered and diagnosed the first instance of malignant cancer in a dinosaur, and they did so by using modern medical techniques. They published their results earlier this week in The Lancet Oncology.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Parks keep people happy in times of global crisis, economic shutdown and public anger. NPS

By Joe Roman and Taylor Ricketts

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is the deepest and longest period of malaise in a dozen years. Our colleagues at the University of Vermont have concluded this by analyzing posts on Twitter. The Vermont Complex Systems Center studies 50 million tweets a day, scoring the "happiness" of people's words to monitor the national mood. That mood today is at its lowest point since 2008 when they started this project.

Read More Show Less